2019-05-06 - Taking Tattooes Apart


Illyana decides it's time for more information on the Nightfall and … invites … the only Nightfall operative she knows to Limbo.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Mon May 6 22:15:18 2019
Location: Limbo

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Theme Song



Limbo is not a welcoming place. It's more like a great beast's maw opened wide, waiting for you to drop in so it can swallow you down. The blasted landscape is home to an endless number of demons and at the heart of the realm, the most stable portion of this splinter of Hell, stands what was once, and for many centuries, Belasco's citadel. Now, it belongs to Illyana or, as her subjects call her, the Darkchilde. It looks much the same, within and without as it did then, details always changing but standing stark and sharp against the blood-red sky.

Illyana Rasputina has been here for some time, though next to no time has passed on Earth. She's been combing through the book on ink magic, cross referencing it with those in her library, checking it with the information that she's been told by others. She's been her long enough that she's started to forget bits of her humanity. It doesn't take too long, with Limbo gnawing away at her. A lot of the people that know Illyana on Earth already consider her 'cold'. They don't know the half of it.

The blonde woman is watching a reaction on her worktable, like some sort of mad chemist. Half way through, she raises a hand off to her side and a stepping disk opens in the center of a prepared magical circle. It sort of looks like something one might use to summon a demon. Except in this case, Illyana is 'summoning' Keiko.

And by summoning we mean teleporting without warning.

Perhaps to Illyana, Keiko is a demon. The tattooed woman certainly represents things the Limbo Queen finds reprehensible. Perhaps moreso because the woman herself still appears to venerate the Splinter Lord she was to believe was her God.

When the disk opens, Keiko stumbles forth, a tub of chocolate chocolate chip icecream in one hand, spoon in the other. She was *just* about to open the tub and dig in.

Well she was. As she stumbles, the tub gets dropped and rolls across the ground.

The small asiatic woman is wearing a pair of leggings and a singlet top - Illyana can see the tattooes, the extent of their coverage and at least the top of the brand Keiko's received.

Blinking owlishly for a moment, Keiko looks at Illyana "Do you think this is the way to get tributes?" She means the ice cream, of course. Is she worried? Perhaps but she's using snark to cover it.

As the ice cream hits the floor, heads poke out from the shadows. Smaller demons, quick and not that bright dart forward but the edge of the protective circle seems to keep them from crossing.

The circle is large, about fifteen feet in diameter, so Keiko has a lot of room to move around and not cross over to where the demons are likely able to get her. Not that they seem very interested in *her*, as they stalk the edges of the circle with gaze fixed firmly on the cold tub.

"The whole point of a tribute is someone gives it to you, you don't have to take it." Illyana remarks, her attention still on whatever raction is bubbling grusomely away over there. As it kindles into a bright, cyan flame and dies away, Illyana frowns and turns back to Keiko. "No, this is how I figure out what the hell is going on." The blonde raises her hands, fingers curled inwards in a claw-like manner and her eyes shift towards a solid, glowing white. The intricate lines of the magic circle Keiko's in start to light with magical fire, a tongue of flame racing around the grooves in the stone as though there were oil to light within.

Keiko moves to retrieve the tub of icecream, pulling up short as a small feline-like creature darts forward to be stopped by the barrier. Still, she's careful to not move quickly and never takes her eyes from the demon as she bends to pick the tub up and retreats to the centre.

"You … bought me into a summoning circle?" The tattooed woman says finally turning her attention to Illyana and opening the tub. It will melt if she doesn't eat it, after all.

Her eyes grow wide as as the eldritch flames spring up around her, wincing as her tattooes start to throb and sting. "You could just ask me, you know." she mutters. It's actually hard to hide the fear as it plays over her face. There's recognition for at least some of this. "I take it Batman found you. Or was it Captain Noh-Varr of the Marvel, Kree warrior, agent of SWORD?" Keiko's making an assumption but it helps to keep talking as her eyes follow the flames that light the circle.

"It's a Circle. You can use them for more than just summoning." Illyana says, her eyes still glowing white. It's eerie enough to make one miss the icy pale blue eyes she normally has.

"The infamous Batman did visit me last night." Illyana admits, and then frowns as it seems Keiko's going to eat ice cream during this. A hooking motion with one hand pulls the tub free, followed by a word that encases it in ice as it floats over to the side. The demons, like fish chasing food swarm over after it until the blonde barks something out at them, at which point they scatter. The frozen treat is dropped onto one of the tables and then a lifting gesture has Keiko rising into the air a few feet. "He seems to think that we can bloody Plotka's nose bad enough he'll stop supporting your cult." She arches a brow. "What do you think about that?"

"OK it's a circle … my ba—-" The icecream floats aways and Keiko's eyes snap to Illyana, the spoon clattering to the floor as Keiko's eyes slide to the Sorceress. The white in Illyana's eyes is unsettling but it seems the … captive? … has seen similar.

Being raised in the air, that has an effect. Possibly not one Illyana expects. Keiko swallows and becomes still - almost, compliant. It's almost like she's experienced similar before.

"I tried to tell him that it was a bad idea to go after Plokta. He, and others, want to stop the Nightfall. They could do that by making it too difficult here…"

Is Keiko saying that because she venerates Plokta or is she just being sensible?

"But then they'll just start up somewhere else." Illyana says, finishing Keiko's statement, even if that might not be how the other woman would have done so. "That's the problem with Heroes. They think they can save everyone." Illyana will be the first one to tell you that no. They can't.

The blonde tilts her head over a bit as Keiko goes still. Normally there's some yelling and flailing involved. She doesn't dwell on it too long though. "Alright. Let's see what we're looking at." Illyana hasn't gone digging into the nature of Keiko's tattoos up to this point. Everyone has their right to their own secrets and going about their lives unmolested. At least until it starts running counter to something Illyana sees that Needs Done. Like now.

As the sorceress's hands move, they leave glowing silver light with odd shadows folded into it. Symbols are traced in the air and some areas of the Circle flare up or change color as Illyana does so. She makes a sudden gesture, like swiping something to the side and the spider tattoo on Keiko's skin prickles and burns a bit as the spirit is pulled out to manifest in the circle with Keiko.

"The Nightfall have been operating for years across the world. There's no 'starting up again', they'll just the continue." Keiko answers, trying to remain very, very still as Illyana continues to levitate her.

It's the interference with her tattooes that gets her growling though. "Leave.them.alone." Her temper is kept in check but it's there, bubbling beneath the surface. Still the brand on her chest, or the parts that Illyana can see pulse dully.

Keiko struggles with the pain of the spirt being forcibly called forth and the indignity of the intrusion. Managing to reign things in, the brands glow starts to fade.

The spider is a Goliath Birdeater Tarantula. Native to South America and huge, on the scale of things, in real life. The blue glowing spider that manifests besides Keiko is HUGE, At least twice the size of the it's real life counterpart. It scuttles to the left and then right, clearly confused.

From what Illyana can see this is a spirit, not a spell and it is definitely bound to Keiko. Not the tattoo, well, not directly.

"No." Illyana says, rather casually at Keiko's demand. Her hands come up, still trailing that eerie, shadowed light as she frames a box and then taps it. Glyphs start to write themselves out above the spider with glowing lines like leaders that point back to the creature at various points. As it scuttles around, the writing and leaders stay 'attached'.

Another twist of Illyana's hand and Keiko's arm pulls out to the side, rising so the blonde can see that tatoo itself. Glowing white eyes narrow, consideringly. "So while the tattoo might have been the instrument, it could probably be removed at this point and not interrupt the bond between you two." She taps at her lower lip lightly. "It's a spirit…" Illyana reaches out again and makes a grabbing motion, causing the poor spider to rise into the air as well.

"Of course it's a spirit…" Keiko nearly spits at Illyana. She's not happy being here, she's not happy being suspended and she's *certainly* not happy about her creature being … probed. "If you'd asked I would have told you that."

There's a reason that Keiko had been taken to be a tattoo bearer. There's a reason she was able to run when she did. Illyana might be getting a good example of that.

The spider does flail as it's lifted in the air and Keiko growls at Illyana again. "Leave her alone." The mark on her chest starts to glow again, almost in response to the womans rising anger.

It's a curious thing really. Keiko seems to treat her bound spirits as 'tools' not friends and yet when pushed like this, she's incredibly protective.

The spirit of the spider was once a real living spider, Illyana can tell that. What she can also tell is there's a touch of the Dark Dimension on it. The creature isn't *from* the Dark Dimension, that much Illyana can tell.

Illyana Rasputina snorts as Kieko snaps at her. "Please. Like you're a reliable source of information. You still think Plotka is a god."

It's hard to tell where Illyana's gaze is focused on when they're all white like that, but Keiko can *feel* the blonde's attention moving back over to the tattooed woman. "Do you even know how many *kinds* of spirits there *are*?" Illyana shakes her head, muttering to herself.

"So did they kill the spider when it was bound to you, or was it killed at some point before?" That's information that Keiko *should* be able to give Illyana directly. "It's also been… augmented with energies from the Dark Dimension. I'm assuming during the binding ritual, unless you saw it done seperately?"

The glowing mark on Keiko's chest hasn't escaped Illyana's attention and with a snarled word she reaches forward, grabbing at nothing in front of her and *pulls*. She's not trying to rip the spell free. From seeing it on Remy she's already guessed that doing so would be messy. What it does do is pull forward a six foot glowing version of the brand on Keiko's chest in explicit detail. "You keep triggering this…"

Keiko growls as Illyana snorts. "I have been helping and if people actually *asked* me instead of just *taking* …" Oh, the small woman is working up a head of steam. It's an effort for her to bring her temper down.

The frustration rolling from her is palpable. She could have just ignored the signs and not have this indignity thrust on her.

"Why que carajo would I know that? I have six and they were readying me for a seventh …" She's so not happy. The blondes question gets a pained looked from Keiko though "Arananet died during the binding. I … had to master her spirit when they were applying the tattoo and the magi were performing the spells." beat "The energy … it's all done during the binding."

If Illyana can sense it, there's something in the ink that binds the spirits.

"OW…." That's the first time Keiko has said anything about the pain she's experiencing. "Agent Turner and WAND says it's trying to align me … with something. It does it when I get angry."

"You don't even understand the question I'm asking, how would you be able to *tell* me what I want to know?" Illyana asks archly. "Not 'type' as in spider, wolf, dragon… how the hell did they get a dragon, anyhow? Dragons aren't native. I meant types. As in terrestrial, where they're kind of like ghosts like this one is where they've killed the body and used the soul of the critter, or other-dimensional and if so what type of dimension, yada yada."

Illyana gives Keiko a 'duh' sort of look. "I noticed *that*." The blonde says of Keiko's newest 'art'. "Let's see…." Another forward tap of a finger and the projection of the spellwork from Keiko's chest explodes outwards so Illyana can see the pieces, tracing the energies that pulse when Keiko's angry.


"Who said Glydril was of this dimenson? You've called Aranent, not her." There's the barghest as well to consider. It's possible Keiko couldn't tell Illyana what she wants to know, that's true.

"You don't know what I know so you treat me like me an idiot." There's venom in the tone but it's almost self-disgust reflected outward. That might be tied to her anger. A method of protection, perhaps. Or just driving that stubborn streak. And stubborn, Keiko is.

The spell is intricate, an endlessly repeating spiral pattern that Illyana can follow her to the tattooed womans … soul. The symbols light up slowly as the pattern goes deeper, possibly indicating just how far the spell has progressed.

What the Demon Queen can glean from it seems to be aligning the woman with Wrath.

As Illyana taps and prods, the tattooes on Keiko's arms start to ripple. The wolfs head rears from her arm and snaps at the Sorceress, the Dragon seems to project and smoke curls in Illyana's direction as well. The others are active as well.


"I hadn't gotten that far." Illyana admits. "But you need to make significant changes to a spell if you're changing the type of spirit you're using."

The venom in Keiko's tone has Illyana narrowing those glowing eyes at the tattooed woman and when she demands the sorceress stop again, Illyana's lips press into a thin line. "Don't make demands of me, little girl, or I'll stop being gentle." Arms cross again as Illyana starts to walk around the large Circle, occasionally reaching out to 'pluck' at the symbols. "You didn't spend a night completely debauched since you got this, did you?" Illyana's attention shifts from the symbols to Kekio as she hangs there, arching a brow. "Oh look." She says with sarcasm. "I'm *asking*."

"No mierda…" Keiko snarls as the mark is poked and prodded, the spell responds so well to her temper. The angrier she gets the quicker the symbols light up. Illyana's words have the tattooed womans own lips thinning. The Sorceress might hear her teeth grinding though.

As Illyana circles, the tattooes on Keiko arms writh and rise. The Barghest leaps forth, trying to get to Illyana, then the harpy eagle. Whatever the mark is doing, it's interacting with her spirits.

On Keiko's back, at the base of her neck is the top of the outline for another tattoo.

"Yes you asked. Good for you." Keiko can't seem to help herself. She snarks. And the mark lights up even more. "No, I didn't." That's if she's understood what debauched really means.

As the creatures leap forth and throw themselves towards Illyana, they bounce off the invisible wall at the edge of the protective Circle. The blonde herself doesn't even flinch.

"Then it's not likely walking you down the path… it's just got you set on the one Virtue." Illyana muses, followed by a sigh. "Put them away or I'll have to deal with them myself." She warns Keiko.

Seeing the interaction with the spirits though… "Huh. Well, that can't be good. I wonder what happens if we just borrow that temper of yours." The ground surges up beneath the tattooed woman who is caught suspended in the air, moving like a viscous liquid, climbing up Keiko's legs and up around her torso. The liquid/stone pulses, and with every throb Keiko can feel her anger, that wrath, being drained away. A spark forms, hovering just out of Keiko's reach, growing larger and larger in a burning orange/red.

"I'm not doing it …." Keiko growls through clenched teeth. "I can't call them like that…" Whatever else is happening, this is really hurting her. Illyana has only ever seen the woman call two animals at time - albeit the fights have never been that long.

"Don't you hurt them…" Like Keiko can do anything about it, should Illyana decide to make good on that promise.

The floor bubbling up should terrify the tattooed woman. Maybe it does but it manifests as even more anger - definitely a protection mechanism. And then it drains … the spell of the mark slowly ebbing and the animals bound to her settling as well.

All that's left now though, is fear. Fear the asiatic woman is trying not to show.

The fact that Keiko doesn't scream makes it harder for Illyana to tell that the other woman is in significant pain, but that glowing, pulsing spark's color shifts enough that Illyana looks at Keiko consideringly.

Illyana waves a hand and the exploded projection collapses back to Keiko's chest. A dismissive wave of the other hand and the blonde releases the spell drawing out the spirits and Keiko drifts back down to the floor though the liquid stone still curls around her like a living thing and the pulsing spark hangs in the air.

"If I wanted to hurt them, or you, you'd be screaming." Illyana points out. "I'm trying to get information." And Illyana doesn't have any real emotional tie to Keiko, which means she's not really *real* to Illyana. That's compounded by the amount of time she's spent in Limbo, which washes out the part of her that feels softer emotions.

Keiko doesn't scream. That's something she learned long ago. To scream was to show weakness and that wasn't allowed. She is in pain though, or was until the tattooes subside.

The fear is still there, not as well masked as Keiko would like but masked somewhat. She sinks to the floor, not trying to move. There's a training that comes with this - an indoctrination one might say.

"And have you got the information you need? Or do you need to … examine me more." Oh so bitter. "It's not something I'm unused to." What Illyana might have noticed about the mark that Keiko bears, is the the method of anchoring seems to differ slightly to Remys. The tattooes, the ink, have affected it.

"What did you want? Information on my spirits or the Nightfall in general." The womans eyes move to the pulsing spark above her. She supposes when they're done, Illyana will put that back.

For now, at least, Illyana keeps Keiko's anger removed. She might decide that it's better to keep it removed until they undo whatever's on her. Another wave of Illyana's hand and the glowing flames of the Circle sputter and die out. The blonde steps across and turns one hand palm up and the spark floats over to hover over her hand, fingers curled inward slightly like a cage.

"What I need? Maybe." The blonde's boots come to as top a few feet from where has landed. "Certainly nothing has jumped at at me and said 'this is the answer!' so…" Illyana's head cants over to the side a bit. "You have an exceptional capacity for pain." It's said almost sadly. It's… familiar.

Keeping Keiko's anger on a more permanent basis might be problematic. The tattoo wielder uses that to power her stubborness. It certainly seems to be … key to her power.

"So what?" Keiko's already on her knees, breathing heavily She doesn't move, and keeps her head bowed. A reflexive action more than anything but it should speak volumes. "Are you going to keep me here till you do?"

The boots are kinda nice, the thought is vague but there.

"Pain is a weakness. You don't live long if you're weak." That might sound a little familiar. "If I was to master the spirits, I had to endure it." Risking it, Keiko glances upward at the tone Illyana uses. Sad? That's … not expected.

Those boots drift closer, and Illyana reaches down as Keiko looks up, catching her chin lightly. "I don't need to keep you here. I don't feel you're a *danger*." A cold smirk curves her lips. "I can always just bring you back."

The demons that lurk around the room press in closer but they give Illyana, and with her Keiko, a wide berth. Illyana's eyes have gone back to normal, the pretty blonde entirely at ease in the macabre backdrop. "No. You don't live long if you're weak. So I'd advise you don't press me, so I don't have to demonstrate who is the stronger between the two of us, hmm? Now. You said that Agent Turner had some theories on this latest trouble you've been roped into?" A nod is given to the burning spark that pulses above her hand.

"You're easy to press. I never challenged you just protected my own." Keiko answers sullenly, flinching slightly as the blonde catches her chin tilting her gaze up. She doesn't meet the blondes eyes, her gaze going to the side.

Someone knows how to deal with predators. The demons … Keiko's trying not to think about them.

"I'm not a magi, I'm a soldier. I know my place."

At the mention of Agent Turner and the 'solution', Keiko sighs. "Some woman with red hair who used more big words than I've heard in my lifetime said the mark was trying to align me to something. Didn't know what. She did say it couldn't be removed but might be refocussed, somehow. Though she wasn't sure about that either."

She can play nice, see?

Illyana Rasputina lets go of Keiko's chin, but taps her nose with a fingertip. "I don't have a problem breaking your pride. I can even convince myself I'm doing you a favor, since it's likely to mean I let you live."

The sorceress turns away, walking back to her worktable, snapping her fingers. The liquid/stone falls back into the floor, but Keiko's anger still floats along with Illyana like an an angry pet. "Probably a rituals expert. And I'm not going to settle for 'it can't be removed'. Refocused, hmm?" Raising her free hand off to the side, a stepping disk opens in the air and dumps a likely unsuspecting Koa onto the floor near Keiko. "Refocued how?" She asks, her back to the pair of them.


Kerthumple. Koa arrives in a heap. A rather painful looking heap with his collared shirt undone to reveal the white tee beneath. He has a toothbrush. Strike that. He had a toothbrush. He know has two halves of a toothbrush, but one half is in his mouth and the other half is on the floor by Keiko's foot.

"Ptah!" Koa spits shards of plastic out and blinks around. "Where the h- Keiko wh-"

Illyana's voice focuses him a bit. "Refocus what now? Is this about your… ah. Your brands."

The WAND agent pulls himself up into a sitting position. He's a bit shocked and slightly put out, but more the former than the later. Also something about this place… gnaws at him.

"Our Magi believed that the spell could be disrupted enough to change it's focus IF she could find something that she really believed in. I think the procedure involved the magical equivalent of invasive surgery. I heard them talking about some way to 'partially unbind her spirit from her soul'." Because there ARE magicks that distinguish between those two things.

"Where… are we?"

Keiko kneels on the floor inside the circle that Illyana has. Somewhere in that circle is a tub of icecream encased in ice. The small asiatic woman is in leggings and singlet top and it looks like she's been through the wringer.

As Illyana lets her chin go, Keiko doesn't drop her head. She still avoids eye contact and Illyana will see the flash of defiance that fills the brunettes eyes. Break her pride? Keiko doesn't argue though. She's smarter than that.

"Agent Turner… Be still and they won't get upset." She doesn't know where they are, but those demons are still lurking, pacing around the circle they're in. "She wanted answers and decided to take them."

Yeah. That's all Keiko has at the moment. Sullen woman.

Illyana Rasputina looks over her shoulder at Koa, as demons start to swarm her worktable to clear it off. Beakers, jars, heavy tomes, they're all carted away almost comically by relatively small demons. A gesture from the hand that's not keeping Keiko's anger as a glowing spark has other tomes floating over from bookshelves off to the side. "Yes, her brands. Which Gambit has as well. Your magi don't think they can be removed? Or that redirecting it will disrupt it enough to allow the spell to be broken?"

Illyana doesn't bother to answer the question of where they are. Glimpses of the red sky can be seen through some of the narrow windows in the room and to the magically sensitive, it certainly isn't Earth. "No one is touching my guests without permission." The blonde says, raising her voice a bit to drive home the point to the demons lurking about.

The demons have Koa narrowing his eyes and his heart hammering though he manages not to have his breath catch. He has seen demons before. In small numbers. Usually singly, actually. He has NEVER seen that many demons at one time. And ever in their home realm where they have all the advantages. This entire place is eerie and unsettling. The human part of Koa - which is most of him - is in full blown panic mode. The part of him that is a predator manages to keep it off his face.

He does reach for magic, though. It's reflexive. He doesn't think about it. Just starts to draw, just in case he needs it. He only gets a tiny amount before his eyes go crimson and he stops abruptly. He wants to groan with the pounding headache he suddenly has but manages to bite that back too.

Limbo. They're in Limbo. They have to be. He can't imagine where else they might be where the magic would feel like this. It is NOT a pleasant feeling.

"Is this about her or Gambit?" Koa isn't still per se, though he nods to Keiko's advice and picks himself up onto his feet. He doesn't make any moves otherwise… other than to pick up what's left of his toothbrush and pocket it.

He wants to ask Keiko if she's okay, that's the human, polite thing to do. Something tells him he shouldn't.

"Less that they inherently can't be removed and more that it's interacted in an odd way with her tattoos. It's like the bindings in the tattoos have grabbed onto the magic of the branding. Your friend Gambit can probably get rid of them. Keiko here… we're not sure. It's possible it might kill her if we tried."

It might not, that's also a possibility. But the risks are there, and have been judged to be significant.

"The spell can be weakened we think. Maybe altered. But in order to get rid of it completely we'd have to untangle it from her tattoos and that's beyond us."

It might not be beyond Illyana though. Although… given how the Tattoos are linked to her very being, that probably has costs of its own. For both women.

Keiko doesn't rise. Koa's seen this behaviour before from her. Holding a position and not moving without permission. The conditioning runs deep.

She does flinch though as the smaller demons swarm the benchtop. She's not as sanguine about this as she seems. Fear though is a weakness and she'll show none. She doesn't look at Koa as he rises, just listens.

"It's not about me, per se." she murmurs though. She's got that much. "I don't think Miss Rasputina expected to be seeing to my mark when she bought me here. She wanted to know about my tattooes and … Plokta." How they'd been derailed might be a story for another time.

That collection of her anger, still gleams just above her head.

"You aren't touching my tattooes." Oy vey. Will she never learn?

As Koa starts to draw on the magic of Limbo, that runs so very close to the surface, Illyana's pale gaze focuses on him, watching the shift of his eyes towards red. She doesn't chastise him, but it's clear she noticed him doing it.

"This? About Gambit. But apparently the magics already in her have complicated things. I was hoping the pair of you had some insight on unravelling the spell so I don't need to break it forcefully." Illyana keeps herself from doing terrible things to Keiko by reminding herself that it's Bad. It's an academic exercise. Remy is a friend, and so she has some emotional attachment to help her make the 'right' decisions.

A tossing motion sends the orange-red spark of light floating towards Koa, freeing up Illyana's hands. "I might be able to do that, but it will take time to look into and with the Batman showing up at where I'm living on Earth, the issue with Plokta is seems to be more pressing.

Opening one of the tomes at her workbench, Illyana notes dryly, "I'm sure you're telling Agent Turner that, and not me."

"Oh. Well I can give you this…" Koa reaches into his back pocket and takes out a sheet of paper folded carefully into quarters. When Koa unfolds it, it's a rubbing. A rubbing of the tablet that started this whole mess.

"I was doing translation work on it tonight." He offers it out but doesn't move.

"Near as I can tell the best way to break the spell without brute forcing it is to invoke the black virtue's antithesis. Each one of them has one, according to the tablet, but the parts that talk about them are fragmentary, since the tablet itself is just a chunk of something bigger. I have a fairly good idea where we could find the rest of it but you're not going to like it. Either of you."

Koa isn't sure if approaching will draw a response either from Illyana or the demons so he just remains where he is, holding out the paper.

He winces when Keiko gets stubborn and shoots her a glance. He's enough of a predator to know that isn't a good idea here. "Keiko what is that… energy?" And why is she still kneeling? He really wants to ask that but doesn't.

Yes, Illyana noticed when he drew on the power in here. And as well she should have too. Such things have consequences.

Keiko seems to be well aware that she's more of 'thing' to Illyana than a being. If it hurts or worries her, she doesn't show it. "It might be possible to help your friend. He … wasn't already … marked."

Some of the translation that Koa has already done shows that it might have been used to subdue, or control, a recalcitrant … member of the Nightfall. And the magi had been in New York.

As to Batman, Keiko sighs "Batman and his people wanted to try and lure Plokta here. They want to stop the kidnappings. The best they'll do is stop the Nightfall here. They *might* be able to hurt them enough to slow them down." beat "I want to work with you Miss Rasputina, to stop them and not see anyone else hurt."

That's something, isn't it? Now she's not in pain and so angry, Keiko finds it easier to focus.

"That Agent Turner, is my anger. Or at least the anger I was feeling, not long ago."

When Koa offers up the rubbing, Illyana turns away from the tomes she'd been opening to walk over so she can take it by hand. Running her fingertips over it, her eyes narrow thoughtfully. Her gaze shifts to Koa as he says he knows where to find the rest of the tablet. "I don't like a lot of things. That doesn't mean they don't need doing. So, where is it?"

Illyana hmms at what portions of the translation are there. "So interacting with your existing spell matrix is part of the *intention*… Maybe it's confused on what to do with Gambit." Illyana murmurs to herself before her attention is brought over to Koa, nodding as Keiko identifies the spark that's now hovering at Koa's shoulder. "Her anger was feeding the spell. I surmised we didn't want to allow that. Keeping it from her for an extended period of time isn't a great idea, but it also helps to keep her from getting lippy and forcing my hand." There are a lot of watching eyes here, after all.

Getting back to the Batman and his plans, Illyana shakes her head, though that's at the plans and not Keiko. "Plokta isn't going to come to Earth. He's not going to expose himself like that." Unlike Illyana, who does it all the time. "No, if they want to…" She trails off and hmms. Then her attention move sto Keiko. "What if we could convince both sides they were betrayed by the others?" One of the downsides to being Evil. Betrayal is more believable than loyalty. "The actual goal here is to stop Plokta from supporting the Nightfall and the Nightfall from supplying Plokta with more power, right?"

"Your anger? She… pulled out your anger?" That would explain why she's so relatively calm despite being in a circle on her knees in a hell realm surrounded by demons. Koa is momentarily tempted despite the overall creepiness of their surroundings to ask if Illyana can pull out her stubbornness as well.

But he thinks better of it, thankfully. Mostly because Keiko is still talking. "Batman wanted to what?!" It's not a yell but the emphasis in his voice is audible. "That's… insanity. Splinter Lords don't leave their realms, present company excepted. Why would they. If Batman proves to be that much of a problem Plokta will just wait him out. What's a mortal lifetime, after all?" When all else fails, just wait until they die of old age. Classic immortal move.

The WAND agent looks Illyana… well not in the eyes. Not here. He looks at her though. "It's a place that WAND has cordoned off to the best of our ability. A big plot of ugly under the South Pacific sea. R'lyeh." He pauses to let that sink in. "The inscriptions there, the syntax closely matches some of our original exploratory images. I have a fairly good idea where that inscription can be found in the city. And I think the Nightfall did too. I've been reading things that suggest they've been raiding places of power for knowledge and artifacts and repurposing it for their lord. Or, trying anyway."

Which explains why they know of the Nine Black Virtues even if they're not using them for the intended purpose. Kind of like using a key to cut tape instead of open the lock it was made for. It works, and if it's the tool you have to hand you use it. But that's not what it's for.

"Feeding that spell is probably a bad idea, yeah." Koa agrees with Illyana. "And it's reasonable to think that the intent of the magus was to get you back under control Keiko. But the Artifact itself… it seemed REALLY interested in Gambit." He pauses. "And you."

"She did, yes." Keiko answers. She is calm despite the fact that she's still kneeling and Illyana has been … poking at her tattooes and her herself. Koa might get another sparring match is he asks about her stubborness and this time, Keiko won't pull the swat across his backside.

"So I shouldn't tell you then that Blackbird and others wanted to try and seed the Dark Domain with a charge of whatever they've concocted to nullify our animals and affect our tattooes?" Not anger. But Keiko can also be a bit of a smart ass.

"I think he'll listen though, if he's given something he can work with." At least she hopes so. Plokta won't leave much of them if they decide to try an assault.

"I told you that the Magi that have come here likely have some of the sacred texts on them, right? We could try and get them, see what they're doing…"

Illyana's question has her thinking and nodding slowly. "That … might work." Her eyes dart to the demons that are circling and back again "Might I ask what you're thinking?" Yeah, her brains engaging again.

Illyana Rasputina eyes Keiko, who is still on her knees. Then she looks over to Koa. "Much as I love having someone on their knees for me, I should probably get you two back to Earth. But I can't hold her Anger there. Short of binding it here, I'm gonna need to put it back in her."

There's a pause, and then: "Who the hell is Blackbird? By the Dark Lord, I swear every day there's a new wannabe hero." Illyana sighs. "You know what would help? If someone nailed the Bat's cape to the floor so he didn't just up and disappear." Yeah. Only Illyana gets to do that.

What Illyana's thinking? She gives Keiko a smirk. "Let's you and I… *talk*" That comes with a Look at Keiko, "about the politics of the Nightfall…" Sorry. Illyana doesn't really *ask*.


Koa almost asks about her stubbornness again but thinks better of it. Instead he just nods. "Back to earth… might be a good idea…" He looks around at the demons and tastes the air. There's the temptation, it's always there, just to pull in magic until he can't anymore.

"They wanted to…" Koa sighs. "I am never letting these people anywhere near WAND if I have a choice." They wanted to poison a dimension. With some iron based compound. They don't appear to fathom how futile this is even with the whole 'Plokta is a god in the dark domain' part.

He'll take the lift home. And when he gets there.

Well, he'll possibly panic a little bit. Until then he's going to enjoy not-angry Keiko. And take all the mental notes he can about Limbo and it's rather mysterious ruler: Illyana Raspuitina.

"I … don't know. Some cape that seems to work with Batman and Catwoman." Keiko hadn't been much for socialising at the briefing that Batman called.

Yes please, she'd like very to home now. What will happen though, once Illyana releases that anger back to her? Poor Koa, if he's still around.

"Don't do it…" that's a murmur to Koa as she takes the chance to glance at him. She can see the temptation he's feeling. She's seen it in his eyes when she calls her animals.

"You know where to find me and I can't say 'no'." Keiko agrees to Illyana's proposal rather ingraciously. The tattoooed woman had just said she would work with her, after all.

A crook of Illyana's finger and Keiko's anger comes rushing back over to Illyana, bobbing like some will-o-the-wisp. The blonde blows gently and the light disperses as it floats over to Keiko, returning to the tattooed woman.

"Well now you make me sound all creepy and abusive." Illyana notes dryly in reply to Keiko, but she doesn't argue it, either. She *can* find Keiko and can be pretty damned ruthless to accomplish her goals. "Try not to be angry in the meantime. Work on, I dunno. Happy? Joy? Oh, there's some TV show about cleaning up your house. That's supposed to 'spark joy' or something." With that sage advice, Illyana summons a pair of stepping disks, returning the two to where she stole them away from. Looks like she's taking pity on Koa, and not putting the re-angrified Keiko in his apartment with him.

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